Election latest: 'Days left to save Britain from Labour', Sunak warns; Starmer tells voters to avoid more 'economic chaos' – Sky News

Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak are beginning a frantic final few days of campaigning before the polls open on Thursday, but one Tory minister tells Sky’s Sophy Ridge the election is a foregone conclusion. And the Labour leader has responded to criticism from JK Rowling.
Tuesday 2 July 2024 02:15, UK
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That’s all from Politics Hub for tonight.
Scroll down to read our 10pm bulletin to catch up on all the day’s political news.
Be sure to join us tomorrow as the final 48 hours of campaigning get underway.
Around ten days ago, Harry Potter author JK Rowling wrote a 2,000-word essay in The Times about how she could not vote for Labour or Sir Keir Starmer, based on their position on gender recognition (read more here).
Speaking to the same paper tonight, Sir Keir has said he is hopeful he can meet with the writer – who has been critical of trans women accessing single-sex spaces.
In a social media post at the end of last week, Rowling said: “Do biological males with gender recognition certificates have the right to enter women-only spaces? 
“It’s a simple yes/no question.”
Asked about this by The Times, Sir Keir said: “No. They don’t have that right. 
“They shouldn’t. That’s why I’ve always said biological women’s spaces need to be protected.” 
Asked if he will he meet Rowling? “I’ve indicated a willingness [to do so].”
He adds: “Hopefully we can get that organised.”
It’s 10pm. Here is your round up of what happened today as we entered the final lap of the election race.
Tomorrow will see us heading into the final 48 hours of the campaign.
Join us again as we keep across all the important updates as they happen.
During the Politics Hub with Sophy Ridge, Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker spoke about his plans to stand as leader for the Conservatives should his party be defeated on Thursday.
He also spoke candidly about his belief the Tories would lose the election.
In response, Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, said: “It is incredible that less than sixty hours until polling booths open, Tory ministers are undermining the prime minister by boldly flaunting their leadership ambitions on national television.
“From COVID cronyism to trips to the bookies, these Tories always put self-interest and their own ambition ahead of serving their country.
“What this shows is that if the Conservatives are given another five years, the chaos will just continue.”
Pollsters at Savanta have asked 2,287 people how they intend to vote on 4 July.
The results suggest the gap between the Conservatives and Labour is down to 15 points – the narrowest in a month.
The Tories are up to 24% of people – their highest score in a month.
The full results – along with the change on the week before – are as follows:
Since Rishi Sunak called the election, Sky News’ Politics Hub has been looking back over memorable moments from campaigns gone by.
FromDavid Cameron’s football own goal, to an upstart Nick Clegg emerging as the unlikely victor from the UK’s first televised leaders debate, there were plenty to choose from.
We’ve collated them all below for you to reminisce on:
The first big moment of election night on Thursday is the 10pm exit poll.
It’s the clearest indicator of how the parties have done and who could form the next government.
Commissioned by the broadcasters – Sky, BBC and ITV – the fieldwork is carried out by pollster Ipsos, which will have interviewers at 133 polling stations around the country this year.
Our economics and data editor Ed Conway has been looking at the science and security behind this key moment that will set the tone for the long night that follows…
That concludes our coverage of tonight’s Politics Hub With Sophy Ridge – the show will return at 7pm tomorrow. In the meantime, stay with us for the latest election news and analysis.
Harriet Harman, Labour’s former minister for women and equalities, tells Sophy Ridge she wants to see women in parliament working cross-party to make a difference after the election.
“It might be we have as many as 250 new women in the House of Commons, re-elected and new women, and that’s going to make parliament very different,” she says.

“And I really hope that they’ll actually work cross-party. 
“I hope they will not just put the party first always, but actually put women first and be a bit subversive in working together.
“If they do that, I think they can really make a difference on things like childcare, equal pay, domestic violence.
“So they need to be a bit subversive and rebellious.”
Tory peer Kate Fall says she “completely” agrees. 
She adds that it’s “important that you have strong women’s voices in both chambers – especially in the Commons”.
Sophy Ridge is now asking the panel about concerns around people who want to vote not being able to because of delays to postal ballots being delivered – leaving some out of luck before setting off on holiday.
Harriet Harman, former Labour deputy leader, says Rishi Sunak should not have called the election at a time when the Scottish school holidays were under way, and says “he probably didn’t think about it”.
She says across the country “at least one in five people are voting by post”, so the ones that have already been sent will now be “piling up in the councils”.
“The electoral returning officers call in the agents of each candidate, and they open them before Thursday,” she reveals.
“The agents are there to make sure it’s all proper and everything is in order.”
She goes on to say all around the country now there are agents who are seeing the votes and seeing the results right now.
Given most people won’t vote on Thursday, “they are not the final result, but word starts seeping out about what has been seen by those agents”, she adds.
Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker has explained why he wants to have a run at the leadership of the Conservative Party – after the election he believes the Tories will lose.
Mr Baker says he does not want to pre-empt Rishi Sunak standing down, but says he does want to run to replace him.
Asked to explain why, he says: “The reality is that my colleagues have sent for me before the referendum, after the referendum, during COVID and over net zero. 
“And on all four occasions, I’ve led actual MPs to a great degree of success – and I wouldn’t mind the chance to do it again.” 
He adds: “I’ve got 30 years of leadership experience in the armed forces, in the private sector, in parliament and in government.”
Pointing to his time as Northern Ireland minister and Brexit minister, he claims people “can see my record is one of success”.
You can watch Mr Baker’s full interview below:
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